OK, LET ME START by saying this is not a review. This is a summary of Twilight, the film, and my initial comments based on our first date.
In Twilight, the first of five films in The Twilight Saga, we meet 17-year-old Isabella “Bella” Swan, as she’s about to move to her dad’s for a while. Her mum, Renee, has a new man in her life and he’s a baseball player. Which means he spends most of his time on the road. This makes Renee unhappy, so Bella needs to make herself scarce so mum can go be a baseball groupie.
It’s pretty obvious from the start, that Bella has been her mother’s keeper and that she’s had to be the adult in their relationship. This message is reinforced later in the film too, both in things she says to her dad and from the phone calls and talks she has with her mum.
So, Bella digs herself a little companion cactus out of the Arizona desert (which makes no sense at all) and gets on a flight to Washington. The state. Because that is where her father, Police Chief Charlie Swan, lives in a small town called Forks. She basically goes from the dry heat of the desert to the rainforest of the continental US. From sunshine, light and warmth to rain, darkness and cold. Or from a happy place to a state of sadness. Visually, it’s an effective transition that sets the tone for what’s to come. (Even with the instagram filter they seemingly pioneered in this film slapped onto all Forks scenes.)
Unlike her bubbly mum, Bella is socially awkward (af!) and appears to be uncomfortable in her own skin. When I saw her with her dad, I knew that was where she got (most of) it from. The scenes between Bella and Charlie are some of the highlights of the film, mainly thanks to Billy Burke’s brilliant acting. This is a girl who has grown up having to adult the adults in her life. She’s a shrinking violet, who’s constantly putting other people’s needs before her own. Until she meets Edward, that is.
The Love Story
In true chick flick fashion, Bella goes to school and meets heartthrob Robert Pattison. Sorry, I mean Edward Cullen. And, of course, she falls head over heels in love with him even though she knows jack shit about the lad.
Here’s Bella’s entire “meet-cute” to He’s The One arch:
1) Gurl checks out Boi in school caf and Mean Gurl says “don’t bother, no one here’s good enough for him.” Gurl’s like: Ok.
2) Gurl sits next to Boi in biology. Boi gives her stink eye. She thinks she’s a stinky poo. Both are like: Ok.
3) Gurl goes to school office. Boi is there asking to be moved out of biology.
Admin: No can do.
Boi: Dang, I guess I’ll have to endure it.
Gurl’s like: Ok.
4) Gurl is nearly moved down by van. Boi saves her, gives her stinky eye and fucks off. Both are like: Ok.
5) Gurl is taken to hospital. Boi is there too (Why?). Gurl wants to know how he saved her. Boi flips the gaslight switch and says: Gurl, you better get used to disappointment. Gurl’s like: Ok.
6) Gurl dreams of Boi and wakes up in the middle of the night. Boi is staring at her. Gurl turns on the light. Boi’s gone, but the window’s open. Gurl’s like: Ok.
7) School excursion to a recycling centre.
Boi: What’s in Jacksonville? (He’s eavesdropped on her.)
Gurl: You no tell me nothing, you no even say hi to me.
Gurl: How did you save me?
Boi: Adrenaline shock. Google it.
Gurl: Floridians. In Jacksonville.
Boi: We shouldn’t be friends.
Gurl: You shouldn’t have saved me. I can see you regret it.
Boi (to his sister): Gurl’s not getting on this bus.
Gurl’s like: Ok.
8) Gurl goes shopping, thugs assault her. Boi gives them stinky eye. Thugs are like: Ok.
9) Boi takes Gurl to restaurant. Says he’s followed her, feels protective of her and cannot leave her the fuck alone. Gurl’s like: Ok.
10) Boi takes Gurl home. Their fingers touch. Both are like: Ok.
11) Gurl goes all Jessica Fletcher on Boi’s arse and yahoos the shit out of her “clues.” He no eat. He cold. He fast. Conclusion: He cold one. He vampire! Gurl’s like: Ok.
12) Gurl goes to confront Boi. In forest. (Why?)
Gurl: You no eat. You cold. You fast. I know what you are.
Boi: Say it!
Boi: What do I eat?
Gurl: You won’t hurt me.
Boi: I’m a killer.
Boi: I’ve killed people.
Boi: I want to kill you.
Gurl: S’ok. I trust you.
Boi: Don’t. I can do whatever I want to you. You can’t stop me.
13) Next morning. Gurl: He vampire. He wanna kill me. I’m “unconditionally and irrevocably in love!”
None of that makes sense. Not one bit. Unless you take her background as a childcarer into account, but very few people would know that.
Now, let’s take a look at Edward’s “meet-cute” to She’s The One arch:
1) Boi checks out Gurl in school caf.
2) Boi smells Gurl in biology class. Boi: Dang, she smell like food. I wanna eat her! I’m addicted – she my heroin.
3) Boi enters stalker mode to feed addiction.
Roughly within the span of a week, Bella goes from New Girl to Vampire Gurl. Boi meets her dad, Gurl meets his fam, and we finally get up close to the villains.
The Big Bad Guys
Playing baseball on a field somewhere, the Cullen Clan attract the attention of a trio of rogue killer vamps: James, Victoria and Laurent. Much like Edward, James is drawn to Bella’s scent and now he wants to eat her too. Edward tries to defeat him in a Trial by Stink Eye, but, unlike human thugs, killer vamps aren’t so easily dissuaded.
James thinks it would be fun to get one over on Edward and steal his lunch snack, so he decides to hunt Bella down. After a bit of running, he finds her in Phoenix where she’s hiding in a hotel with Edward’s sister Alice and her bf/brother, Jasper.
James (on the phone): How about you ditch your baby-sitters and come out and play, Baby Bel?
Bella’s like: Ok.
So, she gets in a cab and heads over to her old ballet studio to die. But she’s ok with that too. Because dying instead of someone you love (her mum) seems like a good way to go. (I mean, why not? She’s basically ok with anything that happens to her. Being ok is her thing.)
Bella enters ballet studio. James attacks her. Edward saves her life. Bella ends up in hospital.
Enter mum Renee: Bella, you fell down a staircase, bounced off the floor and flew out a window.
Bella: Yeah that sounds like me. Hey, can you go get dad.
Edward: Bella, you need to move to your mum’s so I can’t hurt you.
Bella: No, I can’t live without you!
Edward’s like: Ok.
Then Bella, Charlie and Edward go back to Forks, and Edward takes Bella to prom.
Bella: I wanna be a vampire!
Edward: I won’t kill you! How about having a long and happy life with me?
Bella’s like: Ok, then. For now.
And that’s it. Twilight, the film, in a nutshell.
First Date Feedback
What can I say? My impression of our first date is… Confusion? Disappointment? I’m not sure how to feel about this, to be honest.
There is a whole lot to unpack here, and a whole lot that can be said about this film. And trust me, I will. But seeing as this is a Cliff’s notes and first impressions kinda post, I won’t dive into the deep end today.
I can see why it became a pop culture phenomenon. I can see why so many girls (and their mums) became die-hard Twihards. And I can see why we’re experiencing a Twilight renaissance more than ten years after the film was released. (See what I did there? If you know you know. (And if you don’t, I will discuss language and dialogue in a later post.))
Here’s the thing though. On behalf of all teenage girls and their mothers and anyone else who was/is obsessed with this film, I actually feel offended. Pissed off even. I left our date with a big, fat WTF?! echoing in my head. And if it hadn’t been for the fact that I’ve decided to date and dissect the Twilight Saga, I wouldn’t have signed up for a second date.
As it is, I still have four more films, five books and and a heluvalot of dates to go through before we’re done with Twilight and Twilight-style vampires. But I promise, I’ll be mixing the content up, so we’ll be talking about other things too. Like the other titles I’m currently dating; writing and storytelling in general; lessons to be learned from my extensive story dating; and glimpses of my own work.
Now, before I go:
– Have you watched Twilight?
– What was your first impression of the film?
Let’s talk in the comments below, or send me your response via social or email.
Thank you for being here today. I hope you had a good time and look forward to seeing you again soon.
CREDITS & COPYRIGHTS INFORMATION
Disclaimer: As We Write (AWW) is an independent, non-profit blog owned by Evalena Styf. AWW is not affiliated with Stephenie Meyer, The Twilight Saga, Summit Entertainment, Temple Hill Entertainment, Maverick Films, Imprint Entertainment, Sunswept Entertainment, Little, Brown and Company or any other production or broadcast entities associated with Twilight or any other titles mentioned.
Photo, Graphics, Audio and Video: Photos from Twilight or any other titles discussed in this post are either screenshots or promotional pictures released by the distributor(s). All other pictures are from CanvaPro unless another source is mentioned. Any audio/video clips used in this post are strictly for commentary purposes. This usage falls under Fair Use according to US copyright law.